When you’re first starting out with a training regime it can be easy to neglect the food that you eat. After all, you want to perfect the right exercises and routines that can build the body you want. If sport is part of your regime, you’ll also be working hard to perfect the skills you need to perform.
Yet it is no exaggeration to say that by neglecting to get your diet right you are bound to fail. It’s vital to get this right so that you have the energy you need to power through your regime, the stamina required to keep pushing hard and the ability to recover from the strains you’ll put your body under.
What to look for in your diet
The food you consume needs to help deliver the best possible balance. Your body needs a variety of ingredients so that it can run smoothly and you need to deliver these.
Consider the following:
Protein: Every meal you eat needs to contain some form of protein – this is the essential food stuff that builds and repairs your muscles. Advice varies but, for ease, aim to consume 2g per kg of your body weight (up to 200g). There’s plenty of protein in chicken, dairy products, nuts, quinoa and legumes. Buy lots of these and make them the mainstay of your meals.
Carbohydrates: You need energy so you’ll need to consume carbs that your body can break down to glucose. Avoid bad carbs that you can get in processed food and stick to natural choices such as bananas and other fruit.
Fat: Fat is bad, right? Wrong. You must get some of this in your diet but you need to target healthy fats. Avocados, almond butter and oily fish will tick this box for you.
In general, stick to natural foods. Processed items will contain nasty little extras that you don’t need or want in your body. Lots of lean meat and fresh fruit and veg will be ideal.
Count the amount of calories you consume so that you’re never in the dark about what you’ve eaten. You can work out how many calories you should consume using a calculator online.
Don’t forget drinks either. Drink water – and plenty of it. If your body becomes dehydrated, then you might mistake that for feeling hungry.
Specialist plans can prepare you specific goals
The basic lessons above should ensure you are shopping for the right sorts of good in your weekly basket.
You then need to think carefully about what to eat for your meals and when. Some training food is ideal to get you ready for a burst of activity, and a little works best to help you recover when you’ve finished.
It’s also possible to follow specific plans that relate to a training goal. So, for example, if you’re training for a marathon or long run, there are food plans that will closely match your needs.
Have a clear goal in mind and make sure you select the right diet to deliver it alongside the physical work you’ll need to put in.